Just about every day someone asks for my opinion on something related to corporate partnerships. Frankly, I expend most of my breath debunking myths about partnership practices! My best responses include lots of facts and figures to support my position. But, honestly, good research is hard to come by.
That’s one reason I’m so excited about a new report from For Momentum, an Atlanta-based agency that specializes in building strategic cause alliances. Their new report High Expectations: Corporate Partnership Decision-Makers Research Results is full of myth-busting stats on what companies are REALLY looking for in a nonprofit partnership.
Myth #1: The CEO is the only person you should target
Myth Busted! It takes a village. For Momentum’s research with nearly 100 companies showed that a variety of departments are involved in decision making. And while senior leadership is involved more than ever before, there are number of entry points, including the marketing and community relations department.
Instead of targeting one individual, corporate partnership teams should plan to target multiple areas within the company. And once you’ve made initial contact you should expect to work with different team members within the organization.
Myth #2: Companies that are already working with a nonprofit don’t want to work with another
Malarkey! For Momentum found that nearly 100 percent of the companies they surveyed had multiple philanthropic areas of interest and/or work with several nonprofits. The trend is for companies to have more nonprofit partners, not fewer.
I would add that a company with one, two or more charity partners is actually an excellent candidate for another. Instead of thinking they are “taken,” they are pre-qualifying themselves for another partner as they are confirming they value working with causes. Also, don’t forget that companies aren’t always happy with their current cause partner and may be looking for a better partner. You simply don’t know until you ask.
Myth #3: Companies choose new nonprofit partners infrequently or at set times
If you believe this I have a bridge to sell you! Companies don’t have a set time in which they choose a nonprofit partner. They are open year-round to pitches depending on the opportunity.
Companies don’t want to miss a good partnership! But a warning for nonprofits: this isn’t an excuse to inundate companies with pitches. The report reveals that companies are giving nonprofits a failing grade when it comes to ”bringing new ideas” and “presenting unique opportunities.” Limit outreach to pitching companies your very best ideas.
This post is sponsored by For Momentum. For Momentum is an Atlanta-based cause agency that specializes in strategic cause alliances. Learn more about For Momentum here.